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Rain expected to move through area overnight

December 5, 2010 |  5:31 pm

A fast-moving storm front will pass through Southern California on Sunday night, dropping half an inch of rain on Los Angeles County coastal and valley areas and a few inches of snow at higher mountain elevations.

Rainfall is expected to last four to eight hours, but should end by 3 to 4 a.m. Monday, leaving freeways dry for morning commuters.

Winds of 10 to 20 mph, with gusts up to 35 mph, will accompany the low pressure system from Alaska, which will pick up warm, moist air from the south. The mountains will experience 20-to-30-mph winds, with gusts reaching 50 mph.

Brief periods of heavy rain along south-facing slopes could heighten the risk of minor mud and debris flows in and around burn areas, but the National Weather Service has not issued a flash flood warning, spokesman Bill Hoffer said.

The snow level will start at 7,000 feet and drop to 6,500 feet. 

Up to an inch of rain will fall on the Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, which is closer to the center of the storm, and foothills and mountains there could receive up to 2 inches.

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-- Bettina Boxall

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